The Walking Dead S5E6, “Consumed”

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Another week down, another week late.  Sorry everyone.  I’ve been slacking pretty hard lately.  And during a good season, too.  I’m going to try to get back on track for the remaining episodes.  Can’t be falling too far behind with such a short amount of time left in the season.

Hates:
1. I realize that Daryl and Carol were driving their car with the lights off, but I find it hard to believe the lead car wouldn’t have seen a car following them.  They drove a long way and there was no one else on the road.  Daryl stayed back a little ways, but not that far.  I feel like they would have been noticed.

2. All the talk about starting over.  We get it.  Blank slate and all that.  Roughly half the dialogue in this episode seemed to deal with this.  We get it.  There was no need to hammer it as hard as they did.  Daryl’s “The reason I said we’ve got to start over is because we gotta,” line was particularly eye-roll worthy.  You know what I don’t want any more of?  Vague, faux-philosophical talk about starting over or how little anyone can know anyone else.  It all just feels like empty, space-filling talk.

3. Carol being a smart survivor, yet using her three remaining bullets against zombies in close quarters.  That is not a good use of resources.

4. I loved the silence of the falling van, but watching it land on its wheels was laughable.  I know, I know.  “It’s a show about zombies, how can you expect realism?”  Because I do.  It may be a show about zombies, but it’s set in our world.  The normal rules of our world still apply.  And in our world, a van that falls nose-first off a bypass does not do a complete flip and land on its wheels.
It was a cool scene and the raining zombies (hallelujah) were cool, but watching that van land on its wheels was ludicrous.

LOVES:
1. When the car headed north on I-85, I loved that the northern route was clear, while I-85 south was jam-packed with cars.

It led to this question: in the event of a zombie uprising, where would you go?  Would you go south where the weather is warmer, or would you go north, where the zombies would freeze in the cold?  Surviving in the cold would be harder, but you know you wouldn’t have to deal with zombies for roughly 30% of the year.
For the record, I already have a place picked out, but I’m not telling anyone here.  Don’t want it to be too crowded, you see.

2. The scene in the shelter was terrific.  My heart broke a little when we saw the shadow of the child behind the door.  I loved Daryl taking care of both zombies and burning them while Carol was asleep.  This entire episode showed the depth of their friendship, but this scene really stood out.
Carol’s face when she saw Daryl burning the bodies was terrific.  Just a subtle change in her expression.  Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus did great work in this episode.  Reedus is normally pretty one-note, so he doesn’t usually impress me too much, but McBride is consistently one of the best parts of the show.

3. Every time I see a pillar of smoke, I can’t help but think about The Darkness Out of Carthage.  It’s a terrific visual that always gives off a feeling of dread.  (Also, you should buy The Darkness Out of Carthage, because it’s amazing.)

4. I’m a big fan of the “throw the burning notebook to distract the zombies” trick.  For a minute, I thought that notebook contained all of Daryl’s poetry.
Speaking of Daryl and his love of the arts…
“Looks like a dog sat in paint and wiped his ass all over the place,” was the perfect way to describe that painting.  I think Daryl missed his calling as an art critic.

5. Seeing the Georgia Dome in the background of a couple shots.  Haven’t seen that much destruction come to that building since the 2010 NFL playoffs.

6. A zombie getting a machete in his face.  It looked like something out of Zombi.  The head looked like it had the consistency of a rotted pumpkin.  A rotted, blood-spurting pumpkin.  When the skin starts rotting, does the skull start rotting also?

7. Back in my recap of the first episode, I made mention of Carol’s face looking much cleaner after the group caught up with her.  “How did she get her face all clean?” I asked.  They showed her wiping her face off with her poncho in this episode.  Well played, writers.  I still don’t think she could have wiped her face clean with clothes stained in zombie blood, but I like that they showed this.  It made me smile a little.

8.  In the scene where Daryl and Carol are waiting in the car and a hand bangs on the window, I thought it was telling that they sighed with relief when they found out that it was “just a zombie”.  Zombies are vile creatures that can kill you with a single bite.  And yet that zombie was way less of a threat than the people in the car they were following.  It’s a common theme of all post-apocalyptic stories: more often than not, the true threat is our fellow man.  No matter what is banging on our window, we’re the real monsters.

Final thoughts:
There were some moments I didn’t care for, but, overall, I really liked this episode.  I love the rapport – often non-verbal – that Daryl and Carol have.  (If you want to read a great take on the nature of their relationship, you really need to read Lisa’s recap of this episode.  She’s a terrific writer, and she absolutely knocks this out of the park.)
I really like the way this episode has gone.  Yes, we have spent a lot of time away from Rick and company, but I like that.  I prefer these episodes where we focus on another group the entire time, rather than spending 10 minutes per episode getting caught up with non-Rick characters.

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